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LETTER: Restore democracy to St. Croix County

To the Editor:

Both Republicans and Democrats need to share a constant vigilance and sense of urgency to protect democracy for future generations. Democracy by people for people means decision-making by majority vote, with a system of checks and balances. Corporate structures are established to make only one person the decision maker.

In our opinion, Daryl Standafer, as chairman of the county board, and Administrator Pat Thompson are quickly finalizing a corporate structure for St. Croix County, marginalizing elected representatives into an insignificant group of board members.

How did this happen?

Standafer proudly takes credit (in Hudson Star-Observer 9/8/2011) for: 1. Reducing county board size from 31 to 19, concentrating representation in Hudson area. 2. Convincing the county board of a need to install an administrator instead of coordinator, implying an "innocent" organizational change.

Standafer hired a consultant to re-write rules/bylaws for the new administrator position and establish a Pay-for-Performance system. Administrator duties now include budgeting, all daily operations, personnel, strategic planning, buildings/office space, county land sale, etc. -- the collective decisions elected supervisors made before.

Standafer and Thompson make all appointments to the Health and Human Services Board for approval instead of individual supervisors electing each member -- easy to "stack the deck."

The SCC decisions (described in last week's letter to editor) made at lightning speed by the new corporate organization are not for benefit of taxpayers, employees or county constituents we serve. They are, in our opinion, based solely on a self-serving ideology and independent of the majority of people's wishes.

"King George" governance is bad for St. Croix County. It's time to "trust" less and get involved. Call your supervisors and demand change to prevent more self-serving decisions. A simple majority vote could terminate the leadership of the administrator and county board chair. Restore democracy in St. Croix County.

Norm and Shirley Matzek